What is KyuShinDo and What it is not!
By Sensei Henry Ellis
Kenshiro Abbe Sensei 1915 – 1985
Kyu = Desire – Yearn – Sphere – Circle – Search – Study.
Shin = Heart – New – Spirit – True – To be true to ones self.
Do = Way or Path , a way of life or self discipline.
I honestly believe that Kyu-Shin-Do has lost its true path in Britain and has become many things to many people.
Kenshiro Abbe Sensei (pictured right) came to Britain in 1955 at the invitation of the London Judo Society ( LJS ). He considered the Judo that he saw to be too concerned with strength, also too physical and hard. It was his intent to introduce his theory of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei to the British Judoka. They in turn found it hard to understand that if they followed his teaching of Kyu-Shin-Do Judo which he himself had studied from as early as 1940 their own Judo skills would become stronger by technique rather than strength.
Abbe Sensei would often say when speaking of KyuShinDo that "one must have the right mind". On one occasion he lined up 31 Judoka dan grades, he walked along the line and informed each Judoka what technique he would use, and whether it would be left of right handed. Abbe Sensei then proceeded to throw each and every single one of the 31 students just as he had said. It is worth being reminded that Abbe Sensei was 40 years of age at that time.
In 1937 Kenshiro Abbe Sensei fought the great Japanese Judo legend Masahiko Kimura, Abbe Sensei beat Kimura and that was Kimura’s only defeat. Kimura Sensei said of Abbe Sensei after his defeat - “It was as if I was fighting a shadow and trying to catch the wind”
My good friend Gerry Gyngell Sensei said to me on this subject of KyuShinDo “ I believe it is as much about mental attitude as it is technique. I also believe that one can only learn by example and this ( I think ) is why so many failed to understand his teachings as they only looked at the physical and not the mental side of what Abbe Sensei was teaching.